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Oshiomhole Should Resign Now..Edo APC


The Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Anselm Ojezua, has accused former Governor of the state and suspended National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of lacking legitimacy, temperament and moral authority to lead the party.

Ojezua, who spoke during a World Press Conference at the APC Secretariat in Airport Road, Benin City, chronicled the role Comrade Oshiomhole played in the crisis in the state.

He noted that the state chapter of the party has come to the conclusion that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole lacks the capacity, temperament and moral authority to lead the Party as National Chairman, noting, “In any case, having been placed on suspension as a member of the party, he has lost the legitimacy to act in any capacity in the party.”

He added, “We draw particular attention to Article 21 of the Constitution of the Party which relates to discipline of party members and the powers of respective organs of the party to take disciplinary actions against members.

“In the circumstances, any action taken in the capacity of national chairman including documents he signs and meetings he presides over may well be futile as his membership is already compromised. In particular, we are guided by the admonition of President Muhammadu Buhari who has consistently maintained that we must live up to the tenets and provisions of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress.”

According to him, “Mr. President has also maintained, quite rightly, that anybody who is not relevant in his Ward, Local Government Area and State cannot hold office at the National Level.

“We therefore urge Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to do the honourable thing and resign or be precluded from functioning in office while his suspension subsists.”

Chronicling the genesis of the crisis, Ojezua said, “Arising from the recent controversies and false narratives presented by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, (Suspended National Chairman of the APC), it has become necessary to set the facts straight and properly inform Nigerians of the true circumstances concerning the affairs of our dear party in Edo State. It is clear that there had all along been a grand plan to falsely create the impression of a crisis of leadership within the party in the State and these plans were hatched and executed under the directive of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and executed through his acclaimed “infantry division”.”

He added, “The ultimate objective of these activities appears to be a forcible regime change in our party in defiance of democratic norms and the wishes of the people.

“Our problems started with the conduct of Primaries to elective offices in 2018. In accordance with the resolution passed by the National Executive Committee of the Party, the leadership in Edo State decided on their preference for the indirect mode as the preferred one for Edo State however the National chairman decreed that it must be done by Direct Primaries. In order not to unnecessarily heat up the polity being sensitive of the fact that he is from Edo State, we complied.

“Contrary to the calendar circulated by the National Working Committee (NWC) where a separate day was dedicated to the conduct of the exercise for each position, the NWC did not appoint a committee to conduct Primaries in Edo State until the very last day. What is even worse is that the primaries which we conducted was unilaterally and arbitrarily cancelled by the suspended Comrade Oshiomhole Chairman, as he then was, without reference to either the State Executive of the Party or the Governor of the State.

“Even a convict is first confronted with his offence before punishment is pronounced. Although we took serious exception to this naked display of abuse of power, we had to comply with his directive to conduct fresh primaries. Had we not done that, Edo would have been exposed to the fatal consequences that befell our brothers in Zamfara and a number of other States.”

He noted that after the Presidential elections, the party received numerous reports of the anti-Party activities by individuals closely linked to Oshiomhole, noting that the objective was to justify the falsehood they were quietly peddling at the time, that the Governor was a political burden to the Party.

“In the end, Mr. President scored 267,842 votes and recorded a higher percentage in 2019 than the 208,469 he scored in 2015 when Oshiomhole was Governor.

“Governor Obaseki’s reputation and acceptability became even more evident during the House of Assembly elections where our Party swept all the seats available in a historic and an unprecedented manner; a feat never before achieved by any political Party in the history of Edo State.

On the activities of the Edo People’s Movement (EPM), he said, “Recently, when his dissident group EPM attempted to set up parallel structures in the Local Government Areas of the State, the State Executive Committee of APC considered that the matter was getting out of hand.

“The Committee met, pronounced the group unconstitutional and set up a committee to investigate reports of the activities of the group with a view to identifying those propagating it and to make appropriate recommendations to the State Executive Committee. One of those cited for investigation is the erstwhile State Secretary Mr. Lawrence Okah who was then requested to proceed on suspension pending the outcome of the Committee report.”

THE POSITION OF EDO STATE ON THE STATUS OF COMRADE ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE

Arising from the recent controversies and false narratives presented by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, (Suspended National Chairman of the APC), it has become necessary to set the facts straight and properly inform Nigerians of the true circumstances concerning the affairs of our dear party in Edo State. It is clear that there had all along been a grand plan to falsely create the impression of a crisis of leadership within the party in the State and these plans were hatched and executed under the directive of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and executed through his acclaimed “infantry division”.

The ultimate objective of these activities appears to be a forcible regime change in our party in defiance of democratic norms and the wishes of the people.

Our problems started with the conduct of Primaries to elective offices in 2018. In accordance with the resolution passed by the National Executive Committee of the Party, the leadership in Edo State decided on their preference for the indirect mode as the preferred one for Edo State however the National chairman decreed that it must be done by Direct Primaries. In order not to unnecessarily heat up the polity being sensitive of the fact that he is from Edo State, we complied.

Contrary to the calendar circulated by the National Working Committee (NWC) where a separate day was dedicated to the conduct of the exercise for each position, the NWC did not appoint a committee to conduct Primaries in Edo State until the very last day. What is even worse is that the primaries which we conducted was unilaterally and arbitrarily cancelled by the suspended Comrade Oshiomhole Chairman, as he then was, without reference to either the State Executive of the Party or the Governor of the State. Even a convict is first confronted with his offence before punishment is pronounced. Although we took serious exception to this naked display of abuse of power, we had to comply with his directive to conduct fresh primaries. Had we not done that, Edo would have been exposed to the fatal consequences that befell our brothers in Zamfara and a number of other States.

After the Presidential elections, we received numerous reports of the anti-Party activities by individuals closely linked to him. We got to find out, from the events that played out, that the objective was to justify the falsehood they were quietly peddling at the time, that the Governor was a political burden to the Party. In the end, Mr. President scored 267,842 votes and recorded a higher percentage in 2019 than the 208,469 he scored in 2015 when Oshiomhole was Governor.

Governor Obaseki’s reputation and acceptability became even more evident during the House of Assembly elections where our Party swept all the seats available in a historic and an unprecedented manner; a feat never before achieved by any political Party in the history of Edo State.

Having failed to discredit the Governor at the polls, he and his cohorts resorted to a campaign of calumny and infamy against the Governor deploying very raw and uncouth abusive language in a sustained media blitz while showering praises on the National Chairman on each of those occasions leaving no one in doubt as to whose interest they were serving. They started holding very well publicized factional meetings culminating in the formation of a group called the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) which they admitted was a splinter group of the All Progressives Congress; they even used the APC logo in their publications.

The State Working Committee convened an emergency meeting on the 28th of May 2019 where it was resolved that the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) expressly forbids the formation of factional and parallel structures within the Party and hence admonished our members not to associate with them.

The State Chairman briefed the National Chairman on this development when they met at his residence in Abuja. On the 12th of June 2019, the Governor informed the State Chairman of his intention to issue the Proclamation Order for the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly and that he would like the Party to take responsibility for the emerging leadership of the House of Assembly as was done at the National level.

The State Working Committee met on the 13th of June, deliberated on the matter and developed a framework for distributing the Principal offices in the House; thereafter another meeting was called for the 14th of June comprising the State Working Committee, the Members-elect and the leaders of the Party across the State. In that meeting, the leaders were requested to constitute themselves into Senatorial Committees to fill the positions allotted to their Senatorial District from among the Members-Elect. On Sunday the 16th of June, the final meeting was convened in Government House Benin City where the final list was presented, adopted and announced to the members.

The Party was therefore shocked when some of the Members-elect, in obvious defiance of the Party leadership, addressed a press conference the very next day to accuse the Governor of refusing to issue a Proclamation Order and attempting to foist a Speaker on them. It turned out that as at the time they were addressing the Press the Proclamation Order had already been issued and transmitted to Clerk of the Assembly and the House was, in fact, inaugurated on the same day with the leadership constituted as prescribed by the Party leadership in the State.

Rather than join their colleagues in the House the following day, the dissident group migrated to Abuja to meet Comrade Oshiomhole who immediately caused a statement to be issued on behalf of the National Working Committee of the Party condemning the actions of the Governor without first verifying the facts from the State Chapter of the Party or even the Governor himself. His bias and complicity in the unfolding crises thus became evident. He has tried everything within his powers and beyond to ensure that the decision of the Party leadership in the State is upturned in the House of Assembly even when his minions had approached the Court. What was even more worrisome and ironic is that the person he wanted to impose on the House, in the person of Victor Edoror, is the same person he had removed as Speaker for acts of greed, treachery and disloyalty while he was Governor of Edo State.

Recently, when his dissident group Edo People’s Movement (EPM) attempted to set up parallel structures in the Local Government Areas of the State, the State Executive Committee of APC considered that the matter was getting out of hand.

The Committee met, pronounced the group unconstitutional and set up a committee to investigate reports of the activities of the group with a view to identifying those propagating it and to make appropriate recommendations to the State Executive Committee. One of those cited for investigation is the erstwhile State Secretary Mr. Lawrence Okah who was then requested to proceed on suspension pending the outcome of the Committee report.

On the verge of the submission of that report, the same Lawrence Okah organized a gangster type operation to coerce members of the State Working Committee to endorse the removal and replacement of the State Chairman of the Party in contravention of Article 21 of the Constitution of our Party which places such powers in the exclusive preserve of the Executive organs of the Party. Again, not being able to resist his bias and ignoring the role of the Zonal Executive Committee in matters of this nature, the National Chairman got the National Publicity Secretary of the Party to publish the endorsement and adoption of that nullity. This was a clear usurpation of the powers of the National Executive Committee going by the provisions of our constitution.

Prior to this, precisely on the 2nd of November 2019, the National Chairman did the unthinkable; he took up arms against the State when he got boys armed with cudgels and other offensive weapons to attack the  Governor and his guests who had accompanied him to the Convocation ceremony of Edo University lyamho.

These included the Chancellor of the University Dr Aderemi Makanjuola, Oba Akiolu the Oba of Lagos, Oba Otudeko, Mr Kekere Ekun, Dr Alex Onabanjo, Senator Domingo Obende and the Deputy Governor Rt (Hon) Philip Shaibu. He invited them to come over to his house for “lunch” even though he knew that he had set a trap by way of a “welcome party” for the Governor not minding the obvious danger to which other people from outside the State would be exposed or even the damage to his reputation and that of our Party.

These state of Affairs informed the series of meetings that have been held at different levels in the State where far reaching and painful decisions were made and adopted in the overriding interest of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State.

They include: –

1. The meeting of the APC Executives of Ward 10 in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State held on the 2nd day of November 2019 where a vote of no confidence was passed in Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and he was suspended from the Party.

2. The meeting of Ward Chairmen of APC in Etsako West Local Government Area, Edo State held on the 6th day of November 2019 which affirmed the said vote of no confidence and suspension.

3. The meeting of the LGA Executives of APC in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State held on the 9th day of November 2019 further affirming the vote of no confidence and suspension at the Local Government level of the Party.

4. The Emergency meeting of the State Executive Committee of the APC Edo State held on the 12th of November 2019 which:-

a) Passed a vote of implicit confidence in the State Chairman Anselm U Ojezua Esq

b) Passed a vote of no confidence in the suspended State Secretary Mr. Lawrence Okah

c) Received and adopted the report of the Committee that investigated the reported activities of the so-called Edo Peoples Movement (EPM).

d) Received, adopted and ratified the vote of no Confidence and suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from the All Progressives Congress by all levels of the Party from the Ward through the Local Government Area to the State.

5. The meeting of the State Executive Committee and leaders of the APC in Edo State held on the 13th of November 2019 which adopted all the afore said decisions of all the organs of the Party in the State.

Thereafter and without reference to the Governor of the State and even the leadership of the Party in the State Comrade Adams Oshiomhole attempted to singlehandedly foist a group of strangers on the Party quite contrary to known traditions of politics in a manner so contemptous that it drew the angst of the leaders and members who came out in their large numbers to resist the attempt to undermine the Party in the State. In the end common sense prevailed and the obnoxious rally was cancelled.

In the light of the foregoing, we have come to the conclusion that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole lacks the capacity, temperament and moral authority to lead this Party as National Chairman. In any case, having been placed on suspension as member of the Party, he has lost the legitimacy to act in any capacity in the Party.

We draw particular attention to Article 21 of the Constitution of the Party which relates to discipline of party members and the powers of respective organs of the party to take disciplinary actions against members. In the circumstances, any action taken in the capacity of national chairman including documents he signs and meetings he presides over may well be futile as his membership is already compromised. In particular, we are guided by the admonition of President Muhammadu Buhari who has consistently maintained that we must live up to the tenets and provisions of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress.

Mr. President has also maintained, quite rightly, that anybody who is not relevant in his Ward, Local Government Area and State cannot hold office at the National Level.

We therefore urge Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to do the honourable thing and resign or be precluded from functioning in office while his suspension subsists.

ANSELM U. OJEZUA ESQ

STATE CHAIRMAN


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